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The move towards a ‘blended’ way of working

According to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey, just 5.1% of the UK workforce worked primarily from home in 2019, despite improving technology making it a viable possibility. Fast forward twelve months and working from home has become the norm. Although a recent survey found that three in five British employees are itching to get back to the office , many participants say they would like to work from home more often once the pandemic is over. Also, 82% of real-estate companies and office providers are looking to invest in home working and digital meeting tools in the near future, also according to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK? 

It’s reported that companies like Microsoft and Google will be adapting a ‘hybrid’ working model of three days in the office, and two days from home. Other companies, such as Twitter, are telling employees that they can work from home permanently, if they wish. What we’ll see once lockdowns lift, is a blended pattern of working. Employees will cycle between in office and at home working. 

The shift towards flexible working, experts say, hasn’t appeared only because of the pandemic. Companies for years have considered adapting policies to suit their modern workforce and better support the work life balance. What has held a lot of companies back in the past, was the flexibility vs productivity debate. A debate which has been largely been put to bed over the last 12 months. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF THE OFFICE?

A recent JLL survey of 2,000 office workers in 10 countries shows that while work will change, the office is to remain the bedrock of working life. 74% of respondents want the ability to come into an office, albeit not every day. Interestingly, almost half of surveyed employees expect offices to have social areas in the future. Indicating that they want to spend time with co-workers outside of traditional work. 

CHANGING ATTITUDES

This aligns with the shift towards prioritising employee health and wellbeing, driven by a shift in attitude from employees. According to further JLL research, employees now prioritise work-life balance over a comfortable salary. Three out of four expect their employer to support their health and wellbeing.

Research by employee benefits provider Unum has found 86% of UK employers surveyed are also changing their approach to wellbeing in light of the current pandemic. 95% of employers say it has impacted their need to make people employees feel more protected and supported. Many employers say they are to focus their health and wellbeing strategies on preventative measures, like mental health advice and support.

SPIKE WORKPLACE AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Spike Global has just launched its new Spike Workplace application. The software helps companies and landlords promote a connected culture while the majority of office-based employees are working from home. The software will help companies and landlords adapt to a ‘blended’ way of working moving forward. Where we see employees cycle between remote and in-office working.

Spike’s workplace portal builds and manages buzzing, supportive communities where users can form meaningful connections. Companies can nurture the office culture virtually through social clubs, forums and events, keep occupants engaged with up-to-date news and articles. Importantly, employers can ensure staff are as settled and supported as possible by offering preventative health and well-being initiatives and support forums. Spike have also partnered with well-being provider Antidote, to offer further well-being services directly from their portal. 

Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is a key element of what the software provides.

To find out more about our Workplace portal, complete the enquiry form below and a consultant will be touch shortly.

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Resident engagement series: What is resident engagement?

Before COVID 19, placemaking, community management and resident engagement was a topic beginning to rank higher on the priorities of developers, property managers and agents everywhere. 

Then… the pandemic happened and local community became ever-more important. 

What we are seeing now is a switch from community being seen as a luxury to being seen as a necessity, by both developers and residents. Across our portfolio we’ve seen social engagement increase dramatically over the last 12 months.

Which is why we have put together a series of articles to help the industry prioritise and grow their resident engagement strategies, to meet the changing needs of residents and potential residents. 

WHAT IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT?

Resident Engagement is a strategy focused on increasing connections between your property offering, and your residents. Resident engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection residents have with the places they choose to live. It’s a measure of how residents positively interact with activity connected to your property, and a sign of how committed they are to staying there. Importantly, it’s an outcome that depends on the actions lead by property operators, managers and or/owners.  

Initiatives can incorporate anything from social events, to software implementation, depending on your strategy and focus. The aim is to ensure residents are positively engaging, and are as emotionally connected to where they live, as possible.  

Some popular strategies property operators and owners focus on include: 

  • Keeping residents connected to on-site staff  
  • Creating community by connecting residents to one another 
  • Offering helpful, additional services to enhance residents day-to-day lives (e.g. Cleaning) 
  • Enhancing your online reputation 
  • Streamlining rental / purchasing journey   
  • Improving building management efficiency 
  • Improving the overall resident experience 

WHY IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT IMPORTANT?  

Resident Engagement goes hand-in-hand with increased resident satisfaction. Maintaining high tenant satisfaction is top priority for 97% of facility and real estate managers

It’s widely accepted that consumer satisfaction is essential to long-term business success, and is one of the most frequently researched topics in marketing (e.g. Jones & Suh, 2000; Pappu & Quester, 2006).  

More specifically, Research shows that resident engagement is essential for retaining residents. In a recent study, 77% of consumers say that engagement programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand. Positive resident engagement leads to signed renewalsincreased revenue and a better reputation.  

By embedding resident engagement tactics into your sales / rental processes it can directly affect new revenue also. It is widely accepted that satisfied consumers are less price sensitive, less influenced by competitors’ messaging and loyal to the firm longer than dissatisfied customers (Dimitriades, 2006).  

In 2021 the modern consumer expects more than just a place to live, and they are willing to shop around, and do their research to find what they’re looking for. Respondents rated the importance of the online reputation of the management company managing their development community at a high of 7.85 on a 10 point scale

To remain competitive, property operators, owners and managers must prioritise resident engagement to maximise retentionrevenue and reputation.

Resident engagement has become ever-more important over the last 12 months, as people are spending considerably more time at home. Social distancing measures also mean people are at a higher risk of loneliness, especially in single person households. By supporting your residents though these uncertain times, brand loyalty is built and will be remembered. Operators who go above and beyond for their residents will be the leaders of tomorrow.   

To find out more about how Spike could help improve your resident engagement, retention and reputation, simply submit your details below and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.